From 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. today, Deer Creek miners and members of United Mine Workers of America Locals 1769 and 2176, will hold an “informational picket” at the Gallivan Center in Salt Lake City to protest efforts by Rocky Mountain Power, the mine owner, to cut safety provisions in their collective bargaining agreement.
On a bus filled with 30 or so other picketers en route to В Salt Lake City this morning, Pre-Shift Examiner from Deer Creek Mine, Brad Timothy, told ETV10NEWS “We are picketing to protect our safety. В We currently have 14 members on our Union Safety Team, and they want to cut it down to three. В That will affect our rights to have any say-so when it comes to safety. We don’t want to go back to a Crandall Canyon deal where they [upper management] have all the say-so.В We have watched miners die in years past in the struggle to keep safety in the coal mines, to keep it where we have clean air, and have a say-so. В It seems like they just want to attack our say-so in everything we do.”
Rocky Mountain Power spokesperson Maria O’Mara, talked with ETV10 this morning, and issued the following statement:
Energy West Mining Company and the union are still in the early stages of bargaining a new contract and it is there, at the bargaining table, where the real work to achieve a new contract is done. Safety has been Energy WestвЂ™s highest concern and the company will continue to ensure that safety is the number one priority.
To clarify, Rocky Mountain Power doesnвЂ™t have a contract with the United Mine Workers of America. This is a mine worker issue with Energy West Mining Company. They are related because Energy West supplies PacifiCorp Energy plants, and those plants supply electricity to Rocky Mountain Power customers. But this is not a union negotiation with Rocky Mountain Power.